Cher Sues Sonny Bono's Widow Over '60s Hits Royalties

Cher has filed a suit against the widow of her ex-husband Sonny Bono for allegedly withholding royalties generated from their 1960s hits like "I Got You Babe" and "The Beat Goes On." Deadline reports that the pop diva filed the suit against former Rep. Mary Bono, Bono's fourth wife, in Los Angeles on Wednesday, requesting $1 million. Cher alleges that Mary has worked at "undoing" her rights and royalties for the music that the former duo made together and is hoping to be compensated accordingly.

Cher and Bono divorced In 1975 after thirteen years together as a couple, six of them married. They share one son, Chaz. Bono died in 1998 in a skiing accident. 

Cher has spoken before about the difficulties that she faced during her marriage to her The Sonny and Cher Comedy Hour co-host. In a 2010 interview with Vanity Fair, Cher admitted that Bono struggled with the fact that she catapulted to fame during their marriage. "He told me when we were together, 'One day you are going to leave me. You are going to go on and do great things.' He wrote me this poem, and I wish to God that I had kept it," Cher said. "He said, 'You are a butterfly, meant to be seen by all, not to be kept by one.' I wouldn't have left him if he hadn't had such a tight grip—such a tight grip."

Cher also said that Bono "did a couple of things … treating me more like the golden goose than like his wife." A major cause of their marital strife was the fact that Bono started Cher Enterprises, of which he owned 95% and their lawyer owned 5%. After their split In the '70s, Cher had to fight for the right to work and remain an entertainer. However, they eventually settled the legal matters and Cher even spoke at Bono's funeral. Still, the relationship was never fully repaired.


"I forgive him, I think," she told Vanity Fair. "He hurt me in so many ways, but there was something. He was so much more than a husband—a terrible husband, but a great mentor, a great teacher. There was a bond between us that could not be broken. If he had agreed to just disband Cher Enterprises and start all over again, I would have never ever left. Just split it down the middle, 50–50."